Samsung HMX-H200 review
Superb image stabilisation, a powerful zoom and good video quality combine to make a top-value camcorder
Review Date: 17 Aug 2010
Reviewed By: Jonathan Bray
Price when reviewed: £215 (£253 inc VAT)
Features & Design
Value for Money
Selling camcorders is a tough old business right now. With smartphones, DSLRs and compacts all now offering HD video modes, the traditional barrel-shaped video shooter is under threat. So what can Samsung's budget H200 offer that an equivalent point-and-shoot camera can't?
Well, for starters, it has a huge 20x optical zoom lens, which knocks any DSLR, compact or smartphone for six. And it couples this ability to get in really close with excellent quality - there's very little chromatic aberration or barrel distortion - and a highly effective optical image stabiliser.
The latter is the H200's most impressive feature. At wide angle it smoothes out even the most unsteady of single-handed grips almost completely, and it also works well at 10x zoom if you hold the camera in both mitts. It only begins to struggle at full zoom, but that's hardly suprising given the magnification on offer. For the money, no other camera we've seen offers more effective stabilisation.
It's a promising start, and image quality keeps up the good work. The H200 shoots Full HD 1080i footage at 50 fields per second at a rate of 17Mbit/sec, 720p at 25fps, and in our tests it performed well. In our low-light test, noise was kept to acceptable levels and colours were well balanced, if a little washed out. We found the autofocus to be a little slow, but generally accurate unless the light was really dim.
Audio from the top-mounted stereo mic is clear, with a wind-cut feature for shooting in breezy conditions. And we appreciated the aperture- and shutter-priority modes, which allow you to take some degree of control over your video. It isn't an outstanding performer, but it looks considerably better in the context of its low price.
The H200's is a bargain-basement camcorder, though, and it does show through in some areas. It has a 2.7in touchscreen, and touch focus, but no subject tracking or face detection. You don't get a light or a flash, and the lens cover is a manual flick-switch job. It has neither microphone input nor a hotshoe, there's no storage built-in (you have to add your own SD card), and the build is somewhat plasticky.
If you're after enthusiast features or a luxury feel then it clearly isn't the way to go, but for good-quality video at a low price there isn't much better on the market. The Samsung HMX-H200's excellent zoom lens and optical image stabilisation make it a very tempting purchase.
Author: Jonathan Bray
- Will Android Wear work with iOS?
- Amazon loses $170 million on Fire phone
- Photos: Information Age revealed at the Science Museum
- Surface makes $1bn for Microsoft in three months
- Facebook Rooms to give anonymity to iPhone users
- Google buys Oxford University AI startups
- Microsoft Kinect SDK 2 brings apps to Windows Store
- Raspberry Pi unveils DIY tablet kit
- Windows 10: two-factor authentication coming to every device
- What is Google Inbox?
- Google Glass: mugger bait, pub problem and other lessons learned from two dangerous weeks
- Twitter, please don't fiddle with my feed
- How Satya Nadella can get some pay-raise karma
- Windows 10: a step back to go forward
- Michael Dell: Cloud infrastructure is the roads, bridges and highways of the 21st century
- How to check your identity hasn’t been sold to the hackers
- Tim Cook: this is how much TV has changed since the 70s
- Westminster wins the .London battle
- 20 years of PC Pro: from deep pan pizza to virtualisation
- Five reasons why the Apple Watch leaves me cold
- iPad Air 2 vs Nexus 9: Apple and Google's latest high-end tablets compared
- Five things that are actually new in the iPad Air 2
- Bendgate, Antennagate, and why Apple doesn’t care about bad news
- iPad Air 2 and iPad mini 3 release date, specs and UK price rumours
- Office Online vs Google Docs: which free online office suite is best?
- iPhone 6 Plus vs iPhone 6 design comparison
- How to speed up an Android smartphone
- Nexus 6 release date, specs, UK price and leaked images
- iPhone 6 vs iPhone 6 Plus screen comparison
- Mac OS X Yosemite release date, price and new features
- How to sell more ebooks on Amazon
- 10 ways to make your business more secure
- Top five VoIP mistakes
- How to add in-app purchasing to an iPhone, Android or Windows app
- Remote-control ransomware: TeamViewer and software hardball
- Why laptops with serial ports matter to the Internet of Things
- Make your mobile battery last longer
- Small steps into handling Big Data
- Nexus 5: does it really run stock Android?
- How to get broadband to a garden office